Today in History

  • Associated Press
  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014 10:13am
  • Life

Today is Friday, August 15, the 227th day of 2014. There are 138 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Aug. 15, 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened as the SS Ancon crossed the just-completed waterway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.

In 1483, the Sistine Chapel was consecrated by Pope Sixtus IV.

In 1812, the Battle of Fort Dearborn took place as Potawatomi warriors attacked a U.S. military garrison of about 100 people. (Most of the garrison was killed, while the remainder were taken prisoner.)

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.

In 1939, the MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” opened at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.

In 1945, in a radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

In 1967, a 50-foot-tall sculpture by Pablo Picasso was dedicated in Daley Plaza in Chicago by Mayor Richard J. Daley.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

In 1974, a gunman attempted to shoot South Korean President Park Chung-hee during a speech; although Park was unhurt, his wife, Yuk Young-soo, was struck and killed, along with a teenage girl. (The gunman was later executed.)

In 1989, F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as acting president of South Africa, one day after P.W. Botha resigned as the result of a power struggle within the National Party.

Ten years ago: Residents left homeless by Hurricane Charley dug through their ravaged homes, rescuing what they could as President George W. Bush promised rapid delivery of disaster aid. In Athens, the U.S. men’s basketball team lost 92-73 to Puerto Rico, only the third Olympic defeat ever for the Americans and the first since adding pros. Vijay Singh won the PGA Championship in Haven, Wisconsin.

Five years ago: U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., visiting Myanmar, was able to secure the release of John Yettaw, an American imprisoned for swimming to the home of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee). A wedding tent fire in Kuwait claimed the lives of 55 women and children. Virginia Davis, 90, who’d appeared in Walt Disney’s pioneering “Alice” films in the 1920s, died in Corona, California.

One year ago: President Barack Obama scrapped plans for joint military exercises with Egypt, where spiraling violence in and around Cairo were claiming hundreds of lives. A powerful car bomb ripped through a crowded southern Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah, killing at least 27 people. Bert Lance, President Jimmy Carter’s first budget director, died in Georgia at age 82.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Rose Marie is 91. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly is 90. Actor Mike Connors is 89. Actress Lori Nelson is 81. Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 79. Actor Jim Dale is 79. Actress Pat Priest is 78. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 76. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 76. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 72. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 70. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 68. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 66. Actress Phyllis Smith is 65. Britain’s Princess Anne is 64. Actress Tess Harper is 64. Actor Larry Mathews is 59. Actor Zeljko Ivanek (ZEHL’-koh eh-VON’-ehk) is 57. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 56. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 53. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (ihn-YAH’-ee-tu) is 51. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is 50. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 48. Actor Peter Hermann is 47. Actress Debra Messing is 46. Actor Anthony Anderson is 44. Actor Ben Affleck is 42. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 42. Actress Natasha Henstridge is 40. Actress Nicole Paggi is 37. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 30. Latin pop singer Belinda (cq) is 25. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 25. Actor-singer Carlos Pena is 25. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is 24. Rap DJ Smoove da General (Cali Swag District) is 24.

Thought for Today: “Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” — Hannah Arendt, American author and philosopher (1906-1975).

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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